Nintendo Wii EPRI’s Choice for Energy Efficiency
Researchers at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) tested three top-selling game console systems in active mode and found that the Nintendo Wii system uses significantly less power than a Sony PlayStation33 or Microsoft Xbox 360.
“We included only a small sample of the many gaming systems available, but it reveals that the differences in energy use can be significant,” said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of Power Delivery & Utilization for EPRI.
Measuring each system using the same game for one hour of active play, EPRI found that the Wii system used an average of 13.7 watts; the PlayStation 3, 84.8 watts, and the Xbox 360, 87.9 watts.
McGranaghan acknowledges that the Wii does not have the hardware and multimedia capabilities of its competitors. “Obviously there are many considerations when looking at a gaming system, and we’re only talking about energy use,” said McGranaghan.
The lab then calculated annual energy consumption among the “heaviest” console users who play an average of 5 hours and 45 minutes a day. Based on this data, a Wii system would consume 29 kilowatt hours, which is comparable to the power consumed by a linear fluorescent light. The PlayStation 3 system would consume 178 kilowatt hours of energy and the Microsoft Xbox 360 would consume 184 kilowatt hours.
Both Wii and Xbox use “highly efficient” external power supplies with measured efficiencies exceeding 80 percent. The PlayStation 3 power supply could not be removed for testing, according the report.
No doubt with GHG and the power grid of San Diego on their minds, Sony and Microsoft made great strides in energy efficiency with the newer systems (43% and 26% improvement, respectively). EPRI reported that 2007 Sony PlayStation 3 consumed 150.1 watts, and the 2007 Microsoft Xbox consumed 118.8 watts. The 2006 Nintendo Wii used about 2.7 more watts per hour in 2006.
In the past, the NRDC reported that video games in the U.S. consume 16 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year.
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